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Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

Patreon bonus shit: Highlander: The Series guest starring Rowdy Roddy Piper

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Thank you again for reading my HIGHLANDERLAND series. It was a thrill to write and share it with you all. I knew it would be wrong for Badass Studies and humanity as a whole to lock such an important topic behind a paywall, but I really owe a debt of gratitude to the Patreon supporters on this one. The predictable monthly extra income from that has allowed me to work one less day a week and that’s truly why I was able to prepare the whole series in advance like I did with the TWILIGHT ones. So if I was going into some aspect of part 5 and realized there was a parallel in part 2, I could go back and mention it earlier. An extra opportunity for excellence-striving.

As a special thank you for that I have one last Patreon-exclusive HIGHLANDERLAND bonus – a review of the second season Highlander: The Series episode “Epitaph For Tommy,” chosen not for its importance as an episode, but for it guest starring Rowdy Roddy Piper.

CLICK HERE TO GET ROWDY

New bonus on Patreon: Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” video, directed by Russell Mulcahy

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying the HIGHLANDER studies so far. On Monday we’ll continue with a look at the pilot of Highlander: The Series, which features Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, reaching through the portal from real movies into syndicated television to hand off the torch. For those who have been asking, no, I’m afraid I’m not able to cover the full six seasons of television, but I look forward to your insights into the rest of it.

It is true that we’ve already covered the two best and most cinematic movies of the franchise, but trust me, there’s plenty more interesting stuff to enjoy and dissect. Before that I’d like to cap off this Russell Mulcahy portion of the programming with some EXCLUSIVE PATREON BONUS SHIT. If you are a current Patreon supporter or want to sign up, you can click the link below for my heavily illustrated look at Mulcahy’s most extravagant Duran Duran video, made two years before HIGHLANDER when he was trying to make a feature film out of a William S. Burroughs novel.

And this is my obligatory occasional post of gratitude to all those who have supported me on Patreon and in other ways. You very directly made it possible for me to work fewer hours at the day job and more at preparing this series, which I’m very proud of and excited to share with you. So I hope this extra post serves as a small thank you and/or enticement for new subscribers. (Reminder: you’ll also get access to my reviews of the entire TWILIGHT series, starring Batman.)

Read about “WILD BOYS” on Patreon!

 

 

R.I.P. John Singleton

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Instead of posting a review today I want to write a little bit about John Singleton, who died yesterday after complications from a stroke.

If you weren’t of age in the early ’90s, I don’t know if you could ever quite understand it, but John Singleton was enormous. A few years earlier Spike Lee had exploded into the pop culture consciousness, a singular voice, a revolution out of New York, making an arty black and white movie on credit cards with a jazz piano score by his dad, then making bigger and better movies with studio backing, showing the promise of a new generation of black filmmakers.

And Singleton, already, was that promise. More than a decade younger than Lee, he made BOYZ N THE HOOD at 23. Practically a kid. As I seem to have mentioned every time I ever wrote about him over the years (see links below), he was nominated for a best director Oscar the first time out, the first black director to do so, and to this day the youngest person. He became an inspiration not just for black directors, but anyone young, outside of the system and wanting to tell a story about where they come from. (read the rest of this shit…)

Happy anniversary to us

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Outlawvern.com administrator Chris Rowley has reminded me that today is the tenth anniversary of the first time I ever posted on this here domain. He’d actually bought it for me the summer before as an act of kindness (or pity?) to get me off the free Geocities sight I’d used since 1999. I turn him down because I thought it was funny and subversive to pour such effort into such a crappy looking websight. When Geocities stopped working (it turned out they were closing up shop) he luckily hadn’t taken offense to my initial rejection and helped me getting things running right away.

I want to thank everyone who has read or commented or supported in any way. But I’m especially thankful to Chris, who has put so much time and money into keeping this place running through technical difficulties and multiple re-designs, who has set up comments, forums, spam blockers and features of his own invention. He’s also working on some new ideas that will be a surprise even to me. His generosity has made my life better, and maybe yours too, so please give him your thanks.

Happy anniversary everybody. Here’s that first post:

R.I.P. www.geocities.com/outawvern

Talking RICOCHET on ‘The Suspense Is Killing Us’ podcast

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

My friends Kevin Clarke, Travis Vogt and Matt Lynch have a podcast called THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US where they discuss suspense thrillers, mostly of the ’80s and ’90s. I think they’re funny dudes and they joke around a bunch, but they know their movies. You may be familiar with Matt from his popular/grumpy letterboxd account or my old Michael Bay reviews where I mentioned him under the alias “Mr. Armageddon.” Kevin started the podcast because he was interested in the idea that these Michael Douglas and Ashley Judd type movies used to be a huge genre that now is virtually non-existent outside of weekly procedural TV shows.

When they invited me to go on I asked if Russell Mulcahy’s joyously berserk RICOCHET (1991) starring Denzel Washington counted. They were thrilled by the idea, and since their format is to cover three related movies they made me also watch FALLEN and THE BONE COLLECTOR. Warning: we spoil the shit out of all three.

I have two objectives here:

  1. Put enough positive RICOCHET energy out into the universe to secure a Blu-Ray release
  2. Have this episode get way more listens than all their other ones so they’ll respect and fear me

You guys can help me out with #2 if you’re interested:

THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US Episode 7: RICOCHET (& Two Other Denzel Movies)

Get ready to get AVENGEMENTed

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

I must be moving up in the world because I actually got sent a press release about Samuel Goldwyn Films acquiring U.S. rights to “THE ACTION-PACKED FILM ‘AVENGEMENT’ STARRING SCOTT ADKINS.”

The important new information is that it will be released digitally on May 24th. It also says it’ll be in theaters that day, but I don’t know how many of our cities will benefit from that.

The other thing that most impressed me is that Adkins’ character is named CAIN BURGESS. Obviously we were all hoping for John Avengement, but the genre can definitely use more Cains and Kanes. We’ll see if Cain Burgess becomes the next Yuri Boyka.

AVENGEMENT is directed by Jesse V. Johnson, who I have noted is on an incredible role with SAVAGE DOG, ACCIDENT MAN, THE DEBT COLLECTOR and TRIPLE THREAT all in a row. He first directed Adkins way back in 2005’s PIT FIGHTER. The screenplay is by Johnson and Stu Smalls, which bodes well – Johnson wrote the excellent DEBT COLLECTOR, and Smalls is Adkins’ life long friend who co-wrote ACCIDENT MAN and has helped mold his dialogue for other scripts.

Here’s the official plot summary:

“While released on furlough from prison, a lowly criminal evades his guards and returns to his old haunts to take revenge on the people that made him a cold-hearted killer. It’s an epic, bloody battle to search for the soul he lost years ago on the streets of an unforgiving city.”

Johnson’s description of the character and story are intriguing. He calls Cain Burgess “both frightening and sympathetic” and “A man who has tempered his pain and rejection into a carbon steel tool for revenge.” And he claims that said revenge is “a satisfyingly baroque, almost elegant retribution.”

So we’ll find out what that’s all about in a few months, but we only have to wait until next week to see the latest from Johnson and Adkins (as the villain), TRIPLE THREAT. I’ll have a review of that for you tomorrow morning after the embargo lifts.

Ranking the Live Action Comic Book Movies of the ’90s

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

I have an extensive new piece over on Polygon where I rank and discuss all* of the live action comic book or comic strip based theatrical or DTV movies of the 1990s. I know it’s weird for me to be writing on a video game sight, but did you know that I’m actually pretty good at Ms. Pac-Man? You might be surprised.

This was fun because I didn’t really realize until I compiled a list how familiar I am with the topic. I’d seen almost everything that qualified, although I had to fill in a few holes and rewatch several that I hadn’t seen in decades (some of which I’ll be reviewing soon). I have my memories of what I thought of the movies at the time and it’s interesting to look at them all as one movement and consider how different they seem now that they’re artifacts of a bygone era.

Please don’t take the rankings too seriously. I’m already questioning why I didn’t move certain things around. For example, I know I put SPAWN up too high, trying to give it credit for notoriety. Hopefully my write-ups show a joy for what’s unique about this genre even in the lesser ones. Judging from the comments, my low ranking and lumping together of the three TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movies is the most controversial choice. I didn’t see that coming, and I think it’s a generational difference – I’m just too old to understand why it’s so fucking hilarious that they love pizza. I’m more of a cats eating lasagna guy. But apologies for the blasphemy.

I wanted to mention here, since it didn’t really fit in the article, that looking at them all together made me realize one particular artist’s contribution to this genre. That person is not Danny Elfman, because I’d noticed he scored DICK TRACY, BATMAN RETURNS and MEN IN BLACK, plus the theme for The Flash on television, so I already associated him with comic book movies of that era. No, my new realization was that Nils Allen Stewart, guy who played Jesse Ventura in a TV movie and veteran action henchman with the weird hairdo in the ON DEADLY GROUND bar fight, appears in THE MASK, THE SHADOW, FIST OF THE NORTH STAR and BARB WIRE. Not bad.

Anyway, PLEASE ENJOY THE ARTICLE BY CLICKING HERE and let me know what you think.

*Zack Clopton on Twitter pointed out that I fucked up – I missed PRINCE VALIANT (1997). Damn it.

Pre-Oscar thoughts 2019

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Okay, time for my traditional pre-Oscars post. As you have probly gathered by now, I enjoy watching awards shows, I do not think they are too long, I do understand that they don’t represent the best of cinema, and that it doesn’t really matter that much, and I’m not offended if you don’t care about the Oscars. It’s fine, we all do what we want to do. And here’s my piece about my favorite movies of 2018, which only slightly overlap with the things that were nominated.

For those who are interested though I wanted to gather links of my reviews to the nominated movies along with who I’m rooting for in some (not all) of the categories and some other related thoughts. (read the rest of this shit…)

Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw trailer

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Gotta love a title with a presenter and two ampersands. Remember, this is from David Leitch, co-director of JOHN WICK, director of ATOMIC BLONDE and DEADPOOL 2, stunt double of Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves. I still hope they make up some preposterous backstory where Shaw didn’t actually kill Han, but was forced to fake-kill him for Charlize Theron or some shit, so we don’t have to feel guilty for liking him. (That might have to be in FURI9US.)

The Outlawvern.com 2018 Review Revue

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Well, there it is. Another crazy, what-the-fuck-is-happening-to-us year has gone by. As you know if you’ve been reading regularly I lost my mom in the fall, and it would’ve been a rough one for me even if I didn’t feel like the world was running around with spiders in its pants stepping on mouse traps. So even more than usual it has been a refuge, a joy and an honor to be able to keep writing about movies and everything they mean to us, sharing my thoughts and discoveries with all of you and continuing the discussion here in the comments, on Twitter, in emails, and even on a couple podcasts. I’m so grateful for what we have here. Thank you.

As usual I saw more movies than most normal people but fewer than professional critics, so it’s hard for me to do a top ten list. I know I haven’t seen newer movies like IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, DESTROYER or THE FAVOURITE, and haven’t gotten to many that are available like FIRST REFORMED, LEAVE NO TRACE, THE RIDER or BUSTER SCRUGGS. Not to mention the ones I don’t even know I should’ve seen. So instead of a formal list I’ll talk about some of my favorites in different categories. Before that, let’s look back at some of the reviews I enjoyed writing most this year. Since I’ve determined that about 60% of the movies I wrote about this year were not new, this will include discoveries and revisits. (read the rest of this shit…)